Reading Specialist, M.Ed.


The M.Ed. in Reading program is designed specifically to deepen P-12 teachers’ pedagogical content knowledge with the aim of improved student literacy achievement. This program is delivered via e-Learning so that it is possible to complete the degree while teaching in your own district. Technological tools facilitate course delivery, communication, and research. Enhancements include streamed video, braided discussions, audio conferencing, video reflections, and use of Internet resources. Students in the master’s reading program focus on developmental, cognitive, and socio­cultural aspects of reading acquisition, instruction, and assessment. Professional and caring attitudes and beliefs about teaching lead to responsive and rigorous instruction in reading and literacy for all P-12 students, including those who are culturally and linguistically diverse. Accomplished teaching professionals promote collaboration with students, colleagues, parents, families, and the larger community to improve literacy learning and student achievement in their contexts. Students prepare an exit portfolio in line with the goals of the School of Education and the program standards of the International Reading Association to demonstrate levels of knowledge and pedagogy commensurate with the skills and dispositions of highly competent advanced teaching professionals. Program assessment plans are posted on the Program Assessment website.

The UAS Reading Specialist program has gained national recognition by the International Reading Association since 2004.  The International Literacy Association renewed recognition for the program in 2015.

Application Requirements

  1. A completed graduate application and $60 nonrefundable application fee.
  2. An official transcript indicating baccalaureate degree and a GPA of 3.00.
  3. Two general recommendations written on UAS provided form by former or current professors, employers, or supervisors who are familiar with your work and performance.
  4. Please write an essay of three to five pages (1500 words maximum) describing the following topics:

    1. Describe your rationale for applying to a graduate program in (insert program title here) and your professional goals related to this course of study.
    2. What are some of the challenges that face educators in public education today? How might continued study support you in mediating these challenges or supporting possible solutions in your context?
    3. Describe a trend in education and your perception of its effects for learners and systems of education.
    4. Reflecting on your career in education to this point
    5. Describe a success that you experienced and why you considered this experience a success.
    6. Describe a situation that did not result in a positive outcome and what you might have done differently.
  5. Statement of ability to do field experience.
  6. A copy of current teaching or administrative certificate.

Additional information and links to forms at:

Exit Requirements

  1. GPA of 3.00
  2. Satisfactory completion of all courses
  3. An approved Master’s Exit Portfolio
  4. EDRE 696 must be completed with a B or higher
  5. Official Praxis II exam (Reading Specialist exam 5302) score meeting Alaska Department of Education & Early Development requirements is required for issuance of the State-Approved Program Verification Form that leads to state certification.
Minimum Credit Hours 30
Program Requirements 30
Program Requirements
EDRE S671Language, Reading and Culture (Remove)3
EDRE S674Developing Reading, ECE-123
EDRE S675Reading and Cognition3
EDRE S678Literature and Reading: Supporting Readers at All Levels3
EDRE S679Reading and Literacy in the Content Areas3
EDRE S680Reading Instruction and Assessment I6
EDRE S681Reading Instruction and Assessment II3
EDRE S696Reading Teacher As Leader 13
EDRE S698Master's Research Project or Portfolio3
Total Credits30

Must pass EDRE S696 with a B or higher to graduate

Recommendation for certification will be issued upon completion of the above coursework with a GPA of 3.00 or higher. The Alaska Department of Education and Early Development grants the endorsement upon completion of the Institutional Recommendations and the required fee from the student. Official Praxis II exam (Reading Specialist exam 5302) score meeting Alaska Department of Education & Early Development requirements is required for issuance of the State-Approved Program Verification Form that leads to state certification.  Students must be accepted into the graduate certificate program.  

  1. International Literacy Association Standard 1 Foundational Knowledge: Candidates demonstrate knowledge of the theoretical, historical, and evidence-based foundations of literacy and language and the ways in which they interrelate, and the role of literacy professionals in schools.
  2. International Literacy Association Standard 2 Curriculum and Instruction: Candidates use foundational knowledge to critique and implement literacy curricula to meet the needs of all learners and to design, implement, and evaluate evidence-based literacy instruction for all learners.
  3. International Literacy Association Standard 3 Assessment and Evaluation: Candidates understand, select, and use valid, reliable, fair, and appropriate assessment tools to screen, diagnose, and measure student literacy achievement; inform instruction and evaluate interventions; participate in professional learning experiences; explain assessment results and advocate for appropriate literacy practices to relevant stakeholders.
  4. International Literacy Association Standard 4 Diversity and Equity: Candidates demonstrate knowledge of research, relevant theories, pedagogies, essential concepts of diversity and equity; demonstrate and provide opportunities for understanding all forms of diversity as central to students' identities; create classrooms and schools that are inclusive and affirming; advocate for equity at school, district, and community levels.
  5. International Literacy Association Standard 5 Learners and the Literacy Environment: Candidates meet the developmental needs of all learners and collaborate with school personnel to use a variety of print and digital materials to engage and motivate all learners; integrate digital technologies in appropriate, safe, and effective ways; foster a positive climate that supports a literacy-rich learning environment.
  6. International Literacy Association Standard 6 Professional Learning and Leadership: Candidates recognize the importance of, participate in, and facilitate ongoing professional learning as part of career-long leadership roles and responsibilities.
  7. International Literacy Association Standard 7 Practicum/Clinical Experiences (for specialized literacy professionals only): Candidates apply theory and best practice in multiple supervised practicum/clinical experiences